PSA: It’s Not Your Fault That He Ghosted You


Gather ’round, ladies, because I have a delicious ghost story for you.

It was October of last year, and my loneliness had kicked in. I was suddenly and insatiably craving masculine connection like a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Brownie Batter. Perhaps it was when I realized I had come up with yet another nickname for my cat or the fact that I was in bed at 7:30 p.m. on Halloween that I thought, “Better fire up the ol’ Bumble app!”

In less time than it would take to properly shape my brows, I had revamped my dating profile to include my relocation to a new city, my kick-ass new career, and some stunning new photos, if I do say so myself.

Enter the Frenchman.

Look, I’m a mega Francophile. I’ve visited France three times in the past several years, and it’s the country I aim to live in before I’m 40. This guy was almost too good to be true: French to the core, dashing, educated, and a lawyer. Not to mention we both relocated to our new metropolis after having lived in the same city two hours southward; we’d been orbiting one another for years but never knew it. What’s more, we had a mutual friend in common, a former roommate of mine, which was extra spooky.

Our first date was something out of a romantic comedy, complete with an errant sprinkler that caused me to seek refuge in his arms. We held hands, had dinner, and laughed the whole time. He was kind, attentive, genuine, and a mighty fine kisser. He even helped me with my French, and any man who speaks to me en Français is sure to reduce me to a pool of molten hormones.

I bet you can’t guess it, but we spent the night together. Afterwards, he stayed for a long while and opened up to me about his life. Most importantly, he spilled about his not-so-recent split from a serious girlfriend and how he still felt guilty for having ended it the way he had. Although well over a year had passed since they broke up, he didn’t seem to be over her. Despite this, however, he was really excited to see me again, and he made plans for a second date. He asked me out for dinner at one of our favorite haunts, and we both expressed our mutual anticipation. Little did I know this burgeoning Rom Com was about to morph into a Thriller. The morning of the date, he sent the following text: “I’m sorry. I can’t meet you for dinner tonight. I’ll understand if you don’t want to keep in touch.”

I replied, but I didn’t hear back from him. He was simply gone. He eventually resurfaced, as spirits are wont to do, sometime after the New Year in the form of a text asking to see me. I let him know I may be open to seeing him, but was hurt that he had disappeared in the first place. I hoped for him to at least apologize, but instead he vanished again.

Ghosting is cruel—let’s not pretend otherwise. It ultimately denies the experience of another human and robs them of an opportunity to communicate their feelings. It’s a brutal denial of a shared reality. It’s a coward’s way of saying, “On second thought, I don’t want to date you.”

After we are ghosted by a romantic partner, we ineluctably draft up various scenarios to try and square with what’s happened: Maybe he was under a ton of pressure at work. Maybe he didn’t know what to do after such a fabulous first date. Or maybe his grandparents’ house back home was overrun by a horde of zombies and his Mee-Maw was in dire straits and he had to go save her life. (Clearly it’s the last one.)

There could be a thousand different reasons why he severed the connection, but it ultimately doesn’t matter. What matters is the result, and the result is he chose not to be in communication with you.

As harsh as that is, you must remember it has absolutely nothing to do with you, my fellow divine beauty—not one bit. Someone’s inability to communicate so early on with another human being is not your fault, nor is it your responsibility.

Any man who can’t decide what he wants is simply not your guy. If he can’t determine or articulate what he needs he doesn’t deserve a scintilla of your precious time. If he can’t handle the pressure of spending two hours with you in public on a second date, then what makes you think he can handle the rigors of a full-fledged partnership? By ghosting you, he showed you his cards and showed them early before anyone got in too deep. That, my darling, is a gift.

So here’s the deal: If you’re prone to attracting paranormal paramours, take any first, second, third, or even tenth date slowly, and with sincere deliberation. Don’t rush your expectations, and definitely don’t feel you need to rush into sex, no matter how good his French may be. Pace yourself, dearest, and when any guy demonstrates who he really is, your only task at that point is to believe him.

Oh, and stop looking for dates near cemeteries, okay?